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Bengals sign LB Chris Carter, back at 53

CINCINNATI -- With second-year linebacker Jayson DiManche lost for the rest of the season after breaking his right forearm Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals replaced him Wednesday by signing fourth-year player Chris Carter.

A free agent who was waived earlier this season by Indianapolis, Carter comes to the Bengals after having spent the previous three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Who do the Bengals play Sunday afternoon?

That's right, Pittsburgh.

It's safe to assume Carter will be prodded by Bengals personnel all week about whatever insights he might be able to provide about how the Steelers operate. After all, Pittsburgh does have now-former Bengal James Harrison back in the fold.

It's also safe to say Carter wasn't signed to be a contributor on defense. Whenever he hits the field, he's most likely to be used strictly as a special-teams player, unless conditions get dire enough at linebacker that he'd have to play there. Special teams were DiManche's primary focus this season. He and safety Shawn Williams were mainstays on punt and kickoff units. It was during a Buccaneers punt return late Sunday that DiManche was injured.

Carter, who played in college at Fresno State, participated in Wednesday's practice, his first with the Bengals. He was waived by Indianapolis on Oct. 6, two weeks before the Bengals traveled there for a 27-0 loss.